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The Biggest Loser Trainers Have Boundary Issues

Jillian_michaels There was no Grey's Anatomy this week, so we interrupt this weekly recap to bitch about The Biggest Loser. Shut the hell up, Jillian.

First of all, I love this show. It's inspiring. It's motivating. It makes me want to leap off my couch and run a marathon. If I didn't love this show, I would be polite, smile and nod, pass it by without a word. Silently. Indifferently. But I'm not indifferent. I love it. And so like a member of my family, like a loved one, I must tear it to pieces.


So first of all, Jillian, I feel you. Your Mom's a psychologist. My Dad sells office furniture. Does that make me an expert on chairs and desks and office layout? No, Jillian, it doesn't. I have no business telling you what to do with your office, even if I think you're wasting a ton of space with those filing cabinets and you'd get more bang for your buck with mounted binder bins. But hey. Not my business. You know? It's not like my son has a free pass to write penetrating pop culture analysis just because his Dad does. That's not how it works.

You're a personal trainer. Make the contestants do some jumping jacks. Shit like that.

Oh, I know you do. You're good at it too. You scream at them like that crazed drill sergeant on Full Metal Jacket. You make them sweat. You make them better. You push them further than they could ever go on their own. You bring them right up to their limit, they want to quit, and that's when you get mad crazy super bitchy. You bitch and you demoralize and you bitch some more until what? They start crying. 

Up until that point right there, I love it. In fact, I might love it too much. I love imagining that you're screaming at me, abusing me and making me do stuff, which might be indicative of some deeply entrenched psychological issues, but how would you know? YOU'RE NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST!

But you think you are. As soon as a contestant starts crying, your Personal Training Certificate morphs into a PhD in Psychology. Every single time.

CONTESTANT: Boo hoo hoo. Sniffle.

JILLIAN (suddenly not bitchy): Why are you crying? Why are you so monstrously fat?

CONTESTANT: I (sniff sniff) - I don't know. (Wailing.)

JILLIAN: This is not just about exercise and eating right. Until you learn that there's a person inside of you with rocking abs who is worthy of love, you'll repeat the same vicious cycle.

CONTESTANT: But my Mom did heroin. I hate myself.

JILLIAN: I know you do. You're huge. But your Mom is dead and it's not your fault. The only thing that can melt the fat surrounding your heart is expressing your feelings, taking the road less traveled by one day at a time, and loving yourself. You need to actualize and individuate and junk like that, honey.

You totally make me cringe with the psychobabble, Jillian. Stick with the treadmills and big rubber balls that strengthen the core. Also, I love you.


In a sublime, fear inspiring way.


Second, Bob!

Amanda is 19, you pervert. Has anyone else noticed this? Does Bob Harper get a little too emotionally involved with the female contestants? Is there not two or three contestants from every single season, home, pining away, thinking Bob really loves them? 

Reel it in, Bob. If I was on the Blue Team, I'd be like "Over here, starry eyes. I'm 400 fucking pounds!" Hey. I could be wrong. But sometimes I swear to God Bob's dangling right on the edge of tongue kissing Amanda. It's not healthy. You can ask Jillian's Mom.


Again, this was said out of love, Biggest Loser. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't care.

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I am so glad you wrote this. You cannot have it both ways, Jillian! Either you train them until they teeter on the edge of dying or you address their emotional issues. Doing both makes you look like an abusive boyfriend. What I want to know is, why is she always standing or sitting on them while they work out? For God's sake, it's bad enough they have to listen to her as they go into cardiac arrest. Then she twists the knife by perching above them like some kind of exercise demon.

chatty cricket

HOLD IT- I missed last week and so what is this about Bob and Amanda? I thought Bob was gay?


Is Bob gay? This needs to be addressed... because I really go back and forth.

Also, all the points made here?? Agreed.

Sarah Lena

Bob? TOTALLY gay.

And right on about Jillian. I love her as a bad-ass, but as a armchair therapist? Um, I find it kind of nauseating.


I recall Jillian implied that Bob was gay on her former radio show on KFI640 during an episode a few months ago. Some light googling doesn't yield definite results, but I'm pretty confident he is gay. That's why the Amanda connection seemed pretty benign to me... I mean MamaPop has NPH, so Amanda should be allowed a gay boyfriend as well.


Okay, glad to know I'm not the only one who was thinking there was something weird going on between Bob and Amanda. LOL! At first I thought he was gay (didn't know either way beforehand), but then I became totally convinced Bob was sleeping with her. LOL. Something about their relationship just really rubs me the wrong way. She's way too young for him, no matter if he's gay or straight.


I like Bob, but I really don't understand why the people on the "blue team" are ALWAYS so FIERCELY loyal to him! I'm convinced that he brainwashes them or drugs them or something. It just seems unnatural.


Aw, come on! That is the best part! When Jillian figures out what is really wrong with them. She has that super power cause if she didn't, the show would have to add therapy sessions for everybody. Then it would be effing 3 hours.

And Bob is definitely gay.


I thought I read somewhere that Jillian was gay too. Or am I making that up? Anyway, the pop psych stuff bothers me almost as much as the product placement pieces. I love when Bob or Jillian always needs to talk to the teams about something really important and then Bob takes a pack of gum out of his pocket or Jillian wips out ziplock bags like it's the most natural thing in the world. Don't get me started on the overblown 2 hour thing. I fast forward through at least 1/2 of the show. But, I love me some Biggest Loser!


This past week my Tivo informed me that I could not record Glee, Modern Family and the Biggest Loser Where Are They Now? special. I agonized for hours. I sacrificed Modern Family because it's only 30 minutes. And because I really, really needed to see who still looks awesome (Tara!!1!) and who got fat again.

But yes, I generally fast-forward through the Dr. Phillian sobfests of emotional daddy issues. Unless she's still screaming at them. I really enjoy the screaming.


Amalah - You missed Cam as an ass-kicking clown. I am sorry.

I really wanted to see so many more contestants on Where Are They Now, especially Heba. I have to know if she gained the weight back!

Also, I saw Bob at a conference a few years back, before I watched the show. I am still not convinced he is gay, but I can't say he's straight either. My brain hurts.

Personal Trainer VA

....whaaat? Despite her unconventional methods, what you're describing is exactly why Jillian gets results from her contestants....she knows how to uncover the dark emotional issues! I know she's not a psychologist, but she has an uncanny ability to motivate people by helping them realize they must tackle their emotional demons. To denounce her for this is irresponsible.


Irresponisble? Or just a different opinion than yours?


I think forcing her contestants to face their emotional issues is part of the reason she always wins too. She takes care of the whole package!

And I think maybe both she and Bob are gay.

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